Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award

Professor Robin Hochstrasser was Editor for Chemical Physics for almost 4 decades. In that function, he had an immeasurably positive impact on the journal. Professor Hochstrasser was a pioneer in the application of lasers in chemical and biomedical research and during his long scientific career trained numerous students, many of which became distinguished scientists themselves (one of them was Ahmed Zewail).

To honor Robin Hochstrasser and support young scientists we have initiated the Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award for Chemical Physics.

The winner will each receive EUR 2,500certificate and complimentary one-year subscription to Chemical Physics Journal.

Nominations for 2017

To nominate a young scientist, please send a cover letter with a statement of the contributions made and a brief biographical sketch (max 2 pages) to The deadline for the nominations is 1 June 2017. The nominee should have published in Chemical Physics, be younger than 40 years of age, and not have a permanent professorship. Self-nominations will not be considered.

An international committee of scientists, consisting of five members of the editorial board of Chemical Physics, will select the winner from the nominations.

Winner 2016

Dr. Benjamin Fingerhut started his scientific career at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich, Germany where he studied chemistry with focus on theoretical and computational physical chemistry. In 2005 he joined the group of Prof. Dr. R. de Vivie-Riedle for his diploma and subsequent PhD thesis. In February 2011 he finished his PhD thesis with highest grades which was recognized by an Award of the Dr. Klaus Römer-Foundation in 2010. His thesis focused on the transfer of the fundamental efficiency considerations of Shockley and Queisser on semiconductor based solar cells to photochemical energy conversion based on molecular charge carriers, as well as the mechanistic details of DNA Dewar lesion formation. His research at the LMU was embedded in an interdisciplinary framework, consisting of groups from theoretical chemistry (Prof. Dr. R. de Vivie-Riedle), organic chemistry (Prof. Dr. T. Carell) and ultrafast spectroscopy (Prof. Dr. E. Riedle, Prof. Dr. W. Zinth).

After a six month postdoctoral research project at the LMU he moved to the US in September 2011 and joined the group of Prof. Shaul Mukamel, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as postdoctoral fellow where his stay was supported by a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship of the Humboldt Foundation. His research at the UCI focused on the development of novel simulation protocols for broadband infrared and stimulated Raman probes of excited-state non-adiabatic molecular dynamics.

In January 2014 he moved back to Germany and joined the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI), Berlin. He is currently supported by an Emmy Noether Early Career Grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG) which allowed him to establish the new Junior Research Group: Biomolecular Dynamics at the MBI.

His research involves the development of state of the art spectroscopic simulation techniques and their application to the real-time determination of ultrafast structural dynamics of molecular and biomolecular systems. Examples are the formation of UV induced DNA photolesions and their repair by photolyases. The group combines analytical and computational approaches for novel simulation protocols suited to investigate excited-state non-adiabatic dynamics as well as vibrational dynamics of spacio-selective probes like phosphate groups to explore fluctuation induced decoherence dynamics in aqueous and biological environments.

Winner 2015

Prof. Chong Fang grew up in Wuxi (a scenic town near Taihu  Lake and Shanghai), China and received his B.S. in Chemistry and Computer  Application (dual degree) from the University of Science and Technology of  China (USTC) in 2001. He was awarded the Guo Moruo Scholarship, the highest  undergraduate honor. He came across the Pacific and North American Continent to  settle in Philadelphia, completed his graduate studies in the Department of  Chemistry at University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and received his Ph.D. in 2006  under the advisorship of Prof. Robin M. Hochstrasser, Donner Professor of  Physical Sciences and Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
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